Another year winds down, but instead of wondering where the year went, I’m glad to see 2010 scoot its butt out the door. I’m ready to welcome 2011 and all it has to offer.
2010 was a quieter year for our homebrewing. Our wedding was in November 2009, so we took time off from brewing for that. Surprisingly, we only brewed twice in 2010: the Extra Fancy Brown Ale (which we have yet to review) and the Bee Sting Ale, one of our favorite recipes from 2009. We also had friends over for a brew day, so they could experience what goes into making our favorite fermented beverage. We had an awesome time, and once we got the Bee Sting into the bottle and carbonated (yes, it took us 3.5 months to get the damn thing bottled), we knew we had a winner on our hands.
So why did we homebrew less? There were a number of factors.
- A little bit of brewing burnout
- Ray began working toward becoming a full-time indie game developer
- We had so much beer aging that there was barely any room to put it
- The condo went on the market
I’m also a firm believer in not forcing myself to do something when I’m not feeling up to it. And in the earlier part of the year, I just wasn’t feeling like homebrewing and writing about it. But the spring arrived, we brewed the brown ale, then summer came, we brewed the Bee Sting, and as Ray got more and more involved with his first game, he had less time. So, it was up to me to take the reins of Bathtub Brewery, and I think it’s worked well.
Ray’s still here. He does all the tastings with me and sometimes even pops in with a video. And that works. We’re still a homebrewing team — I just do the writing now.
On top of that, I joined the Ladies of Craft Beer as a contributor, offering reviews of craft beer, homebrewing advice, cooking/baking with beer recipes and an occasional opinion piece now and then. It feels good to be part of a community of women teaching other women about craft beer.
Though 2010 may have been a quiet year for our homebrewing, it was anything but quiet in regard to the beer festivals we attended. We kicked the year off with the High Street Grill Winterfest, which was unfortunately crowded, cold and too short. But our friends Ryan and LeeAnne came with us and we had fun nonetheless.
In May, we made it back to one of our favorite fests, the The Brandywine Valley’s Craft Brewers Festival at Iron Hill in Media. The fest was great as always, and Ray even managed to get video of me snagging a sample of one of the two rare beers Iron Hill Media poured into the frenzied crowd (for the record, I managed to snag samples of both).
July saw us stumbling into the Royal Stumble with Ryan, LeeAnne and a whole horde of revelers. As always, the Stumble was excellent, and topped off by a few roller derby bouts.
In August, we sent a bottle of our Barleywine with the Dish Trip crew to have it delivered to Charlie at Harpoon Brewery in Boston. Apparently he liked it, a lot.
September was our busy month. Before leaving for Denver, I represented Sly Fox at Geraghty’s Fall Beer and Food Fest, seeing first hand what it was like to be behind the table at a fest. Then we hopped on a plane and did a crapload of amazing things in Denver, including attending our first GABF. Wow wow wow!
Earlier this month, Ray and I attended a Philly Food Bloggers Potluck, where we chatted with Amanda Hesser about homebewing, served her, Dave from Victory Beer and some of the guests our beer. To say our homebrews were well-received is an understatement.
Huh. Looking at this mammoth post, I guess you could say that we didn’t have that quiet of a year. We may have scaled back on our brewing, but we were out in full force participating in the craft beer community.
As for 2011, we already have a Dubbel on the docket — now we just need to write the recipe. We may never get back to brewing monthly, but I think we will get back to brewing when the creativity strikes. That’s not a bad thing.
Happy New Year!